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Buttler happy for the lessons despite tough defeats in the Caribbean

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England captain Jos Buttler opined that the tour of West Indies had been a success despite series defeats in both ODIs and T20Is. The twin defeats came on the back of a dismal World Cup campaign in India but Buttler saw enough positives in the 2-3 loss in the T20 format to be optimistic of a strong title defence in the Caribbean in June next year.

Buttler’s defending champions found themselves 0-2 down against the hosts before a rallying call to fight the Windies fire with fire saw Phil Salt reel off a pair of centuries to level the rubber. England, however, were undone in the decider on a slow surface in Trinidad despite having come off their highest score in the format (267/3) in the penultimate game and their second-highest run chase in the game prior to that.

“I think so, yeah,” Buttler said when asked if the tour had been a success. “Obviously some players have stood up and done really well. “You want to win and I think we all wanted to win the series and it’s hard to say when you’ve lost, but I think we’ve found out some good things.

“There’s been lots of ups and downs throughout the year but it’s always important to keep looking forward. We’ve obviously had five games out here in the Caribbean and had a really good look at what conditions will be like for the World Cup only six months away. So yeah, it’s been a good series.”

Defeat in the decider was England’s 11th loss in 17 limited-overs games this winter. The pre-eminent white-ball team of this era have also won just 4 of their 12 T20Is this year after being crowned champions in 2022 and none of the three series they’ve contested.

“Not really, [but] I’ve had some low moments for sure,” Buttler said, reflecting on his year and if he had ever considered giving up the captaincy along the way. “It was a huge disappointment in my career that [ODI] World Cup just gone, but after you let the dust settle there’s huge motivation and determination to have another crack and keep going. So that desire still burns strongly.”

England don’t play T20s together as a side until the band reunites in May for a series against Pakistan in the build-up to the World Cup, but most of the players will be in T20 action around the world in various leagues. They are also likely to be some additions to the squad, with coach Matthew Mott indicating that fitness permitting both Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer could make the squad for the marquee world tournament in the West Indies and the USA.

Archer, in particular, will be a useful player to have back given England’s death bowling concerns in the just-concluded series. “It’s been good to be in these conditions and [to] have a look at what might work in those scenarios. I think if you can execute your yorkers they’re still the best ball in T20.

“I haven’t spoken to Jof. Obviously I saw him in Barbados, it was good to see him back in training with us and bowling well. I know the medical team and staff have got a good plan for him and I think I speak on behalf of all England cricket fans and cricket fans around the world that we want to see Jof back and back for good. So I think it’s important that he takes his time.”

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